(Reposted from Pinny Cohen – full post is here)

Usually when I discuss optimizing keywords I am referring to targeting search engines like Google, but what about the “niche” search engines that are mushrooming up all over? Those search engines are often used not just by consumers, but also by job recruiters (among others).

I’ll take for example a site like or Craigslist, both sites with tons of resumes posted on there. How do you get your resume seen by as many recruiters as possible?

The answer is of course, to include information that they are looking for. Just like there are ways of getting data on popular search words on Google, we can look at the most popular keyword searches by recruiters on job sites, and learn from that. The list is useful for three reasons:

First, it tells us what the “preferable” term for what we do is. Most jobs or actions in the business world have more than one term, and sometimes that causes confusion over who has what experience. For example, a digital planner and a media planner could be doing the exact same work, but there will likely be one searched for more often. If you find out which term is better searched, you can make those changes on your bio or resume and ensure that you are located more easily.

Second, the list tells us what positions are in demand in the work force currently. We can use this information to navigate our career in a direction that is lacking manpower and therefore get more competitive offers.

Third, if and when more data is offered from sites like, we can use this information to trend certain keywords and see if they are becoming more or less popular, or if there are more or less openings than there were at a previous point in time.

The top 10 keywords recruiters search for on job sites:

1 Sales
2 controller
3 cpa
5 project manager
6 cfo
7 tax
8 Director
9 recruiter
10 Human resources

One notable thing I noticed from the top ten is that three out of them were related to finance (cpa, cfo, tax), another three for running things (controller, project manager, director) and two for getting more manpower to find the previous two (recruiter, human resources)…..

Read the rest here:

Great tips from Pinny Cohen. Make sure that your resume shows up – and not just to search engines. Recruiters use applicant tracking systems (ATS’s) to manager what can be a huuuuuge inflow of junk. There are lots of people who use programs that spider the internet for jobs that match certain keywords, and then apply – it’s recruitment SPAM, and the better the recruiter is at doing their jobs (getting the word out about the openings their trying to fill), the more junk they get. So we use the ATS to filter, and only show us jobs that match certain skills. That’s where keywords come into play – and may well be why you feel like your resume is going into a black hole. It probably is. One thing I’d add: don’t try and “stuff” keywords into your resume by writing in tons of extra buzz-words in white-font in between subjects, jobs, etc. While it’s true that the recruiter’s database will see those while the recruiter’s naked eye won’t, most of us are onto the trick – if we can’t figure out why a resume has popped up on our screen, we’ll hit “select all” and change the font color for the entire document to black.